Life At Its Best: It's never too late to live your best
Have you ever heard the term "ranked sinner?" It's a title often given to those who've made some pretty bad decisions. Most of us can think of a crazy uncle or an old friend who fits this category. Or maybe, like me, you can recall times when you were a worthy candidate yourself.
If we're honest, we've all made decisions we wish we hadn't. Thankfully though, God doesn't rank us according to the amount of good or bad we've done. He doesn't look at our past but at the incredible potential our lives hold. He wants to help each of us fulfill our unique purpose.
The apostle Paul experienced the power of moving beyond his past. He spent the first part of his life persecuting Christians. But one day, he had an encounter with Jesus that changed everything.
He was traveling to Jerusalem to imprison some of Christ's followers when a bright light from Heaven stopped him. From it, Jesus called, "Why are you persecuting me?" In that moment, Paul had a heart change. The Lord then instructed him to go to Damascus. When he arrived, he met a man named Ananias, who told him, "God has chosen you to witness to all people."
I don't know about you, but if I were Paul, I would've been pretty nervous about this assignment. After all, God was asking him to preach to people he'd been persecuting. He could've easily refused, saying he was unqualified or unprepared.
But the Bible says, "At once, Saul began preaching in the synagogues." He refused to live bound by his past. He was confident in God's forgiveness and believed in his potential to fulfill the purpose He had for him.
That is God's desire for every one of us. He's given each of us a specific plan and purpose that only we can fulfill. And the good news is that it is never too late to begin pursuing it.
God wants to use us right where we are. But like Paul, we must believe in His power to forgive our past. We must trust that no matter what we've done, He can make us clean.
There'll be times when thoughts of condemnation try to creep in. The enemy, or even other people, will try to convince us that we're not qualified or worthy of fulfilling His plan. When that happens, we must remind ourselves of the truth of His Word and live confident that, because of Christ's sacrifice, we're forgiven.
Then we must believe, not only that we can be forgiven of our past, but that we can also fulfill our potential. We must have faith in the person He says we can be. We won't get there overnight, but don't get discouraged. Instead, believe in the person God can make you as you follow Him one day at a time.
What plan has God called you to pursue? I encourage you to start now. Trust in the power of His forgiveness and believe in the potential He's placed inside of you. It's never too late to start living His best.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.